Olympics: IOC finances booming, reserves close to US$1b, says IOC president Rogge

BUENOS AIRES - The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) financial reserves edged close to US$1 billion (S$1.28 billion) in 2012 up from just US$105 million when outgoing president Jacques Rogge took over 12 years ago, he said in his final report on Sunday.

Rogge, who succeeded Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2001 and is stepping down on Tuesday, has overseen an unprecedented financial growth within his organisation despite the economic turmoil of recent years.

He said the IOC's finances were boosted by steadily growing revenues from broadcast and sponsorship deals.

"Since 31 December 2001 our reserve has seen its assets grow from US$105 million to US$901 million at December 31, 2012," Rogge told the IOC session in the Argentine capital.

"This financial solidity is due to the success of sponsorship revenue and television rights," said the Belgian surgeon.

Rogge had been eager to boost reserves during his presidency, especially after the 2008 economic downturn, in order to secure his organisation's existence in the case of a Games cancellation or other unexpected event.

"This reserve, linked with a Games cancellation insurance policy, assures the continued functioning of the IOC in the event of a major Games crisis."

He said broadcasting rights revenues for the period 2014-16 had raked in US$4 billion with several territories still to be finalised.

The total figure of TV revenues for the period 2002-04 was almost half that, at US$2.2 billion.

Top sponsor deals have generated US$1 billion for the period 2013-16 from 10 companies, with at least one more deal expected in the coming months.